At a time when severe aspersions have been cast on Nigeria’s image in the international media, video director and producer, Ani James of AjeFilmWorks, has expounded on the positive impact of the music video industry on the country’s image. Speaking on an Instagram Live chat programme hosted by City 105.1 FM, the multi-award-winning music video director – better known by his brand name ‘Aje’ – spoke, amongst other issues, on how entertainment as a whole has helped build a better image of Africa.
“If you look at Nigeria’s music videos, you will think about Nigeria differently from the picture (everybody has) of Nigeria. If you go outside that to what the news (about Nigeria is) on TV and blogs, you would feel Nigerian is a place you really do not want to go…”
He said explicitly that the Arts, Music – and the music industry – is one of the best things that has happened to Nigeria because Nigerian Music videos have helped to erase negativity around the country’s image, and wishes the Government would offer more support to the industry.
Asked if there is a problem with the content of Nigerian Music videos, given the fact that they seem to be “mostly about club scenes,” Aje stated his belief that, “Art is more like ‘freedom of speech’,” which gives the artist the freedom to choose how he wants to attract fans, listeners or an audience. He also explained that the creative talents in the industry are making videos that meet with the times and trends globally.
He noted that if indeed there is a problem, “then it has a lot to do with where we are as a country,” with regards to the level of development. He further explained that other than this, he believes the directors have done well for Nigeria and that the country has some of the best hands in the world, given the peculiar climate and environment.